Many in the media erroneously claimed Monday that images shared widely on social media show a U.S. Border Patrol agent whipping Haitian migrants attempting to enter the U.S. near Texas.
Critics flagged the bunk reporting and resulting commentary as another false liberal narrative in the making.
Journalists, joined by pundits and Democratic politicians, promoted false or misleading narratives about the Border Patrol, who tried and failed to stop the Haitian illegal immigrants from returning to a makeshift 15,000-person refugee camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
Disgusting: Chris Cuomo accuses mounted Border Patrol agents of being racist, targeting the "brown menace." He suggested one agent looked like he belonged in the "bygone era of slavery." He also spewed the lie that people were "beaten" with "a riding crop." pic.twitter.com/a9zNcu8Alx
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) September 21, 2021
- Chris Cuomo, CNN host, on his show: “Yeah, as an image, to me it does smack of a bygone era, of slavery.”
- Joy Reid, MSNBC host, on her show: “Should we be looking at the budget for Homeland Security? Because I was not aware that whips which come from the slave era, slavery era, were part of the package that we issue to any sort of law enforcement or government sanction personnel.”
- Jemele Hill, The Atlantic contributing writer, on Twitter: “Um … why are U.S. Border agents using whips on Haitians?”
- Emily Green, Vice News reporter, in print: “Border Patrol officers on horseback swinging whips in the faces of Haitians.”
- Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., on Twitter: “Use of whips on refugees? Disturbing and unacceptable. This must end immediately.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, on Twitter.: “The graphic images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants are deeply troubling. Many are fleeing a country struggling to rebuild from devastating natural disasters and political crises. Our focus should be on this humanitarian effort, not deporting migrants back to Haiti.”
Here we go with another completely fabricated media narrative. Those are reins not whips, you idiots. https://t.co/WcxpjnvJO6
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 20, 2021
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters in Del Rio that the Border Patrol carries reins – not whips – and that he had seen no obvious wrongdoing in the viral photos and videos of agents confronting migrants.
- But during an appearance Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day,” Mayorkas backtracked and said he was “horrified” by the images.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it was opening a formal investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday sent state-owned vehicles to form a “steel wall” at the border near Del Rio.
- On Sunday, the Biden administration reportedly began deporting some Haitian migrants from the camp and releasing others into the U.S.
In 2014, HuffPost journalist Ryan Reilly mistook earplugs for rubber bullets while covering civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown.
Whips are the rubber bullets of 2021 pic.twitter.com/aqVhmUrjQI
— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) September 20, 2021